Ginsberg Center's Guidance Regarding Community Engagement during COVID-19

Updated August 4, 2022

With a return to more in-person engagement opportunities along with the fluid nature of the pandemic, we know that our stakeholders may have questions, concerns and aspirations for what community-university partnership and engagement may look like for this academic year. Taking into account U-M guidance, community partner feedback and best practices shared by colleagues across campus, we offer the following considerations for Fall 2022: 

University of Michigan Requirements

The most current information about the University’s fall plan and other COVID related information can be found on the UM's Health Response site, including the updated policy related to required vaccination and boosters for U-M students, staff and faculty. In addition, up-to-date information related specifically to community engagement can be found on the Engaged Michigan website and the Center for Campus Involvement has shared guidance for student organizations. 

Engagement Timelines

As we navigate the continually changing pandemic conditions, the Fall semester likely will pose additional challenges for in-person engagement. In deciding on a start date, project timelines, and any hour requirements, it will be important to check in frequently and remain flexible.

Health Protocols

Students and other university stakeholders should follow all local and site specific guidelines related to masks, social distancing and other health measures. The ResponsiBLUE app can be a useful tool for assisting with daily health screenings, if needed. Given the constantly evolving nature of the pandemic, these protocols may change during the semester. It will be important to stay in touch throughout the semester and be ready to make adjustments as needed. We offer this guidance for students who test positive during a community placement.

Vaccination Requirements 

Some community partners may require proof of vaccination for in-person service placements. U-M faculty, staff and/or students will need to understand these requirements in advance and communicate them with all U-M participants. Many partners will already have an established protocol that will apply to U-M placements. 

In addition to the protocols set by a community organization, another way to confirm student vaccination is through the ResponsiBLUE App. University-verified student self-reports of vaccination status is indicated in this appand could be used by a community partner as part of their daily health screening. Student vaccination records are protected under FERPA so the University will not provide a list of vaccination records. 

Despite U-M’s vaccine requirement, some students may not be vaccinated. If engagement is a required component of a course, it will be important to have a plan for students to contribute in other ways. This may include a virtual opportunity or an alternative assignment.  

Virtual Work Options

Some placements might still continue to occur virtually or may need to switch to a virtual format as pandemic conditions change. Partners should discuss the parameters and expectations related to remote engagement. If virtual engagement involves minors, then the University’s virtual programming protocols will need to be in place. 

Ginsberg Center Support

The Ginsberg team is available to provide consultation and support to student organizations, faculty, staff and community partners interested in starting new projects, resuming paused partnerships or deepening current engagement. If you’d like to connect with us and are a U-M student, faculty or staff, please complete the Support Request Form. If you are a community partner and would like to schedule a meeting, please email for further assistance.